Recovery from addiction takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. When we have a loved one struggling with addiction, we want them to get better. We can’t imagine all that hard work going to waste, which is why relapse is so devastating.

However, relapse isn’t a sign of failure. It’s simply an indicator that more support is needed or perhaps a different approach to treatment is required. Most importantly, relapse is preventable if caught early enough. This is why familiarizing yourself with the early warning signs of relapse can be crucial to getting your loved one help before they slide back into addiction.

7 early warning signs of relapse to look out for include:

Romanticizing past substance abuse

Noticing your loved one relieving their past drug or alcohol use in a positive light may be an indicator of mental relapse. They may start reminiscing about the good times they had drinking or getting high without factoring in the negative consequences of their addiction.

Neglecting recovery practices

Your loved one may start avoiding support group meetings or skipping their therapy appointments. They may give excuses about feeling uncomfortable or uninterested in these recovery practices.

Sudden significant changes in behavior

If you notice sudden changes in how your loved one behaves or they suddenly start acting out, they may be on their way to relapse. For instance, they may start skipping school or work, they may become irritable or change their sleeping or eating patterns.

Reviving old negative connections

Another sign of impending relapse is your loved one hanging around people or places associated with their past substance abuse. This is rarely a good thing especially if those friends are still drinking or using drugs.

False sense of control over addiction

Alternatively, your loved one may start thinking that they’ve got addiction under control. They may say that they can handle one drink or that taking one pill won’t hurt. This is a slippery slope and the situation can quickly deteriorate.

Significant changes in attitude

Keeping an eye on your loved one’s attitude and emotional health could help prevent relapse. If they become defensive, anxious, sad or have unexplained mood swings it could be indicative of something else going on.

Becoming socially isolated

Withdrawing from support groups, sponsors or even friends and family should be a cause for concern. Social isolation can quickly lead to loneliness which may in turn result in relapse.

Reach Out for Help

Relapse, though undesirable, is common in recovery. If your loved one has already relapsed, it’s time to get them the treatment they need.

At Grand Falls Center for Recovery, we know how difficult it is to deal with relapse and that’s why we include relapse prevention in our addiction treatment programs. To ensure the best outcomes for our clients, we provide a client-focused approach to drug and alcohol treatment using evidence-based treatment methods.

We care about your recovery so reach out and find out how we can help you achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.


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